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    an Island Packet 45

    April 23 - May 2

    Ocean Reports

    Course:      Offshore Passage-Making, Miami to Norfolk
    Dates:        April 23 - May 2, 2000
    Vessel:       IP45, HALIMEDA
    Students:    John Ash, Fred Goldman, John Norris, and John Peterson 
    First Mate: Paul Jones, owner
    Captain:     Bill McClure

    Day 1
    We spent the first day doing a pre-voyage survey of the boat. Every hose clamp was checked on every through hull fitting. The engine wiring and fittings were all checked and tightened or adjusted as necessary. All rigging was tested, sails were raised and inspected and every crewmember had the opportunity to reef the main and headsails. Anchors were secured and all tanks were topped off. The menu and watch lists were discussed and agreed upon. David Appleton, another captain for the Maryland School, took the crew through the process for setting up and deploying the sea anchor. Everyone discussed abandon ship and man overboard routines. After a full day of orientation, we had a good night's rest aboard.

    Day 2 - 4
    Each day a different Captain and Navigator were assigned. The Navigator of the day was responsible for our course and the official dead reckoning. Everyone had an opportunity to practice their dead reckoning skills, but, due to many tender bellies, most of it was done in discussion in the cockpit. Our dead reckoning at the end of day three had us about 15 miles east of the actual position as determined by sextant positions obtained by several members of the crew, and as confirmed by GPS.

    Day 5
    Day 5 brought storms and an end to any sextant work. Everyone had a chance to test their skills against the elements, as the winds got up to 50 knots and the seas increased to 15 feet. Off Cape Hatteras, the winds backed constantly, so that within 24 hours, we had gale strength winds from every compass point.

    Day 6
    We encountered light winds, lumpy seas and on occasional queasy stomach, as we motored and reviewed our actions during the storm. The nighttime approach to Cape Henry allowed us to compare the positions of navigation aids from the light list, the charts and the pilot. All students tried this and found that no two were ever exactly the same. This was a good lesson.

    Day 7
    The day dawned with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in sight. At 0730, a very tired but happy crewed docked at Taylor's Landing Marina in Norfolk.

    Captain Bill McClure
    aboard S/V HALIMEDA
    Little Creek Harbor, Norfolk, VA
    April 29, 2000 

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